Faecal Transplants: High Success Rates

Fascinating report on Medscape the other day about the growing -literally- use of faecal transplants (new gut bacteria introduced in the intestine to you and me) in both gut and non-gut conditions. Here’s the summary for you.

Faecal Microbiota Transplantation Therapy for Digestive and Nondigestive Disorders in Adults and Children

S. Shaa, J. Liang, M. Chen, B. Xu, C. Liang, N. Wei & K. Wu

Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2014;39(10):1003-1032.


Background. There has been growing interest in the use of faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) for the treatment of gastrointestinal and nongastrointestinal diseases.

Aim. To review systematically the reported efficacy and safety of FMT in the management of gastrointestinal and nongastrointestinal disorders in adults and children.

Methods. The systematic review followed Cochrane and PRISMA recommendations. Available articles were identified using three electronic databases in addition to hand searching and contacting experts. Inclusion criteria were any reports of FMT therapy written in English.

Results. A total of 844 patients who had undergone FMT were identified from 67 published studies. The most common indications were refractory/relapsing Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) (76.3%) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) (13.2%). There has been only one placebo-controlled trial, a successful trial in 43 patients with recurrent CDI.

Seven publications report FMT in paediatric patients with a total of 11 treated, 3 with chronic constipation and the remainder with recurrent CDI or ulcerative colitis (UC). 90.7% of patients with refractory/relapsing CDI were cured and 78.4% of patients with IBD were in remission after FMT. FMT therapy could also be effective in treatment of some nongastrointestinal disorders such as chronic fatigue syndrome. The only reported serious adverse event attributed to the therapy was a case of suspected peritonitis.

Conclusions. Although more controlled trials are needed, faecal microbiota transplantation therapy shows promise in both adults and children with gastrointestinal diseases such as CDI and IBD.


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4 Replies to “Faecal Transplants: High Success Rates”

  1. As someone with Crohn’s disease this is a development I’ve been following for a while. There are certainly several patients who have been treated successfully using FMT. One to watch.

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